Our side clearly won the spin war over the first debate. But the spin war over the second debate didn’t go nearly so well; I’d count it a loss.
A win would have been to have “Cheney’s big and little lies” established as part of the narrative, rather than as a partisan opinion, as “Bush’s sour faces” is part of the established narrative of the first debate. That hasn’t happened, at least as of today’s newspapers and the bits of NPR I heard. The narrative I see and hear is roughly: Cheney was tough but knowledgeable, and he and Edwards both scored some points and both stretched the truth some.
In each case, we started with the better hand, though the bad guys started out with most of the institutional advantages; rescuing a draw from the VP debate counts as a big accomplishment for Rove & Co., and I congratulate them.
What’s ironic is that if the Administration had applied to Iraq the skilled and attentive viciousness that has characterized the campaign, they probably could have achieved succes there that would have made the election a cake-walk.